Is it a sin to keep Pentecost on the wrong day? Is it a sin to not remember God's Sabbath, and then keep any day as God's Sabbath that He did not command?
Pentecost is the day that commemorates a mighty powerful continuing miracle which is the giving and work of God's Holy Spirit working a work in His called and chosen sons, so that they can be raised up to eternal life at the resurrection. God commands His Holy saints to count the weekly sabbaths, the weeks and days from a certain day, the weekly Sabbath during the spring Feast of Unleavened Bread to know when this annual Sabbath, His Feast of Pentecost is to be observed and kept as His appointed Feast. This is God's command given in His Word, and by His authority and Word, He holds each member of His true body responsible in fulfilling this command. This is so that He can be with His body of believers on that Sabbath day and they can be with Him and feast with Him as He has appointed, in order for His people to be thankful for His Spirit and Power and understand their need and purpose in receiving His Spirit for their salvation. In Lev. 23: 21 God says regarding His Feast of Pentecost, "And you shall proclaim on the selfsame day (Feast of Weeks or Pentecost), that it may be an holy convocation unto you: you shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations."
However, there will be many church members working and doing servile work, or doing their own thing on that Sabbath, the Feast of Pentecost, because they didn't know that the day that was appointed to be the Feast of Pentecost, and because they didn't know how to count the time to Pentecost, or will not count the Sabbaths as God has instructed. Why is this the situation in the Churches of God who profess to be God's church keeping His Feasts? It is because Satan has created much confusion among church members in their counting to Pentecost. This is all due to each members' lack of being led by God's Holy Spirit, to have a personal, diligent, Scriptural study of God's Word in counting Pentecost, and because too many of them look to, and rely on the word of their personal Bible teachers, rather than truth given in God's Word.
In counting the weeks and days to Pentecost, it is generally understood by most that Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, as it is referred to in the Old Testament, means 50 or 50th, or count 50. However, a few members must evidently believe that Pentecost means 51st and that Pentecost is the 51st day, and thereby breaking that holy Sabbath, because they observe not the 50th day, but the 51st day, from the time that God commands members to begin the count. They, in error, begin the count the day after the priest waved a sheaf of grain as the 1st fruit offering before God, rather than count beginning with that day which was work day and a day that was to be counted. God clearly commands the count to begin with the offering of grain that day when the harvesting of the first fruits by the nation of Israel could begin that same day. This was not to be a Sabbath, and never comes up as a Sabbath, and so the people of Isreal did not wait another whole day before they could begin harvesting their grain, which would really make Pentecost the 2nd day after 7 complete, weekly Sabbaths.
There are other members that teach and believe that Pentecost comes at a fixed date, and that church members really do not have to count the weeks, the Sabbaths, and days to Pentecost, even though God commands each member of His church to do so. It is becoming more and more manifest that many confessing to be church members do not fear God, and actually do live their lives opposing His express commands regarding the keeping of Pentecost, as well as their keeping other of His Holy Days. Still, there are other church people who believe that the count to Pentecost must always begin with the first day of the week (Sunday), the day the 1st of the firstfruits was offered, and that first day, Sunday, must always come within the 7 days of Unleavened Bread, even though that first day in certain years would come up as the first Holy Day Sabbath of that beginning 7 day Feast, as was the case this year, 2001. There are a very few people who teach and believe that God commands the weekly Sabbath to be the day that must come within the Days of Unleavened Bread, and that the count to Pentecost must begin with that first day of the week after that weekly Sabbath, which is the day of waving of the sheaf of grain to be accepted by God for His blessing upon their harvest.
All these ways of counting Pentecost cannot be the commands of God, which means many members are keeping their own, set aside feast days, and not God's appointed Feast and Sabbath, and are breaking God's Holy Sabbath where God says, "No servile work is to be done on that Feast Day," Lev. 23:21. Will God look over this sin of Sabbath transgression and rebellion against what He commands that is being committed by many confessed to be brethren? If He does, then He will no doubt have to look over the many people keeping Sunday as the Sabbath instead of His commanded 7th day Saturday, if He is to be fair in His judgment of compromising! The truth is, God will not compromise with His laws, commandments and their judgments, because His judgment is set and will be executed against the breaking of any of His Sabbaths, if there is no repentance. Somehow, brethren believe and ministers teach that God recognizes all these days of keeping and counting Pentecost, if are kept by the conviction of one's heart. In plain words, they believe God will accept all these many convictions and will not execute His judgment against sin of breaking the Sabbath. Are people of the Churches of God any more deceived in knowing God's will about His judgment against sin than all of the false, christ churches of today's Christianity? In one respect they are more deceived, because they believe they are the only true body of Jesus Christ!
In Leviticus 23:14-16, God gives His people His instructions of how to count the weeks, the Sabbaths, and days to know when to keep Pentecost. His Word says, "And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Verse 16, Even unto the morrow after the seventh shall you number 50 days, and you shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. And in V. 20 God says, "And you shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you; you shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations:
God gives His people additional words and understanding in Deut. 16: 9-10, as to how to count Pentecost. God says in verse 9, "Seven weeks shalt you number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the corn." Verse 10, "And you shall keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of freewill offering of thine hand which you shall give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord your God has blessed thee: " Putting the sickle to the corn meant the harvesting of their grain, and the Israelites put the sickle to the harvesting of their grain the same day the first bundle of grain was harvested. The first of the first fruits, was brought to the priest to be offering to God to thank and praise Him for the grain, and to receive His blessing on their work of harvesting their 1st fruit, grain harvest that year. They did not have to wait another day, a second day from the Sabbath to put the sickle to their corn. This day began their 1st day of harvesting and their 1st day of the count to Pentecost. This day was to be a work day and the 1st day of the week to begin the count to Pentecost, and was not a Sabbath, and was not to fall on a Sabbath.
God referred to His Feast of Pentecost in these verses as His Feast of Weeks, because it is the 50th day and feast that is to observed after 7 complete weeks. The weekly Sabbath completes the seven day week. God identifies this day of Pentecost as His Feast by saying, "Seven Sabbaths shall be complete," meaning seven complete weeks, and "the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall you number 50 days," Lev. 23:15-16 and in verse 2, "you shall proclaim on the selfsame day, a holy convocation of no servile work." A calendar week is complete and should be counted when its 6 days and its Sabbaths are observed as part of the counting of 7 weeks. God says after 7 weeks are complete, meaning after 7 weekly Sabbaths, and He says 7 Sabbaths have come and passed, the next day, which is the 50th day, is to be observed and kept as His Day, or Feast of Pentecost.
Read and study Lev. 23:15-16 and see what it is saying, "And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven Sabbaths shall be complete; Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord." Tomorrow after the Sabbath in these verses does not mean to count from the 2nd morrow after that weekly Sabbath but the next day. "From" in the dictionary means beginning at a specified time or place. Tomorrow after the Sabbath is the beginning time and place to start the count, not the morrow after that day, the 2nd day of week. Seven Sabbaths are to be completed, meaning 7 weekly Sabbaths, and that is not including an annual Sabbath in that count, but 7 weekly Sabbaths. You cannot have a 50 days count that comes as the day directly after the 7th Sabbath by counting by any other count.
God plainly says you are to count from the morrow after the weekly Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread. This is further proved by His Word where He states in Numbers 28: 26, "Also in the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, after your weeks be out (be completed), you shall have (observe) an holy convocation, you shall do no servile work:" This is the command of God that seven complete weeks are to be counted, with the first week beginning with the wave sheaf day, coming after the weekly Sabbath, during the Days of Unleavened Bread. Seven days beginning with the 1st day makes a completed week, and starting the count with any other day of the week will result in a miscount, with the 50th day coming not after the 7 Sabbaths of 7 completed weeks.
A point of understanding that people must know and remember is, that God commands the weekly Sabbath, not the wave sheaf day, to always be the day that comes within the 7 Days of Unleavened Bread. This is in order that the wave offering would always come on a regular work day, and not on a Sabbath. This point of understanding about the wave sheaf offering day always being a work day, and not a Sabbath, is because this day was the same day the Israelites, after the wave sheaf was offered to God that morning, could go out and begin harvesting their early, new grain. The Hebrew Calendar, which is God's calendar, was appointed by the Lord of Isreal, to be set up so that the last day of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath, would never fall on the first day of the week, Sunday. It would be a work day, permitting Israel to go out that wave sheaf day, and begin harvesting their grain. This year, year 2001, the way many are counting to Pentecost, is by making the 1st Holy Day Sabbath of the week of Unleavened Bread the wave offering day, and they are doing this by using the Passover as the Sabbath to identify their count. This is in error, and they will end up profaning God's true, Pentecost Sabbath, which will be coming one week later on June the 3rd.
Every few years the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread falls on the weekly Sabbath, causing the wave offering day to come at the very end, at sunset of the last day of Unleavened Bread, which is the first day outside of the 7 days of Unleavened Bread, but connected to those days by sunset of that last day. This is still within what God commands, because He does not mention the wave offering day as the day that must fall within the 7 days of Unleavened Bread. This fact, along with God's Word, that the wave sheaf offering day was to be a work day, was to begin the harvesting of their early grain as He states in Deut. 16: 9.
Some teachers of the churches of God teach to try to use Joshua 5: 10-12 as proof in counting Pentecost, beginning with the 1st fruit grain wave offering day as falling on the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. God's word says in verse 10, that Israel kept the Passover on the 14th day of the month at even, and in verse 11, He says, "And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the Passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day." This was the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened bread, and God commanded Israel to eat of the old grain from the land God had given them that day, and not new grain. This first day was not the wave sheaf day because the wave sheaf day was the day Israel could begin harvesting and eating of the new grain as soon as the priest that morning, had offered the wave sheaf of grain, the first of the firstfruits to God. The wave sheaf day was not a Sabbath, and never fell on the Sabbath, but was a regular work day. Verse 12 says, "And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn (grain) of the land: neither had the children of Israel manna any more: but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year." God is saying that after the 1st day of eating of the old grain, the next day the manna stopped, and that day was the last day they received manna. This was a Friday, the 6th day of the week, and God always gave enough on the 6th day to provide for them for the Sabbath, and the morrow after that Sabbath was the wave offering day, where a sheaf of grain was harvested from the land and then they could begin eating and harvesting the new grain from all the land God had given them. These verses are in no way stating that the first day of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath, was the wave sheaf day. The wave sheaf offering of the 1st day was the time Israel could begin eating and harvesting the new green ears of grain as stated in Lev. 23: 14.
Now look at these verses again in Joshua 5: 10-11 to get what is the interpretation. This Passover fell on a Wednesday, and the next day, Thursday, was the First day of Unleavened Bread. Israel ate unleavened bread of the old grain that day, and on the morrow after they had eaten of the old grain. Friday, manna was stopped, meaning Friday was the last day they received manna, that manna ceased with that day, Verse 12. However on that day, and as God had always done, giving them enough manna for the following day, because it was the weekly Sabbath, then after this weekly Sabbath they could the next day, the wave offering day, Sunday, eat of the new green grain and produce of the land for that year. This was the land and produce that God had given them. So these verses in no way prove that this 1st holy day was a Sunday, and the day that the priest waved an offering of grain to God, that began the count to Pentecost.
Why have the members of the churches of God made the understanding about counting Pentecost so confusing? It is because they are not being led by the gift of God's Spirit, which is what Pentecost represents. Pentecost represents the giving of God's Spirit, so His people can be led by His Spirit, and can understand Scripture, and not be in the darkness of confusion about His Holy Days and their purpose in God's salvation plan.
It is a sin not to keep God's Day of Pentecost by keeping another man determined day, by man's own faulty reasoning and erroneous counting, to determine God's Feast of Pentecost! Many church people are keeping another day for Pentecost and then doing their own thing or by working on God's true, Pentecost Sabbath. There is no difference between working on God's true, weekly Sabbath, and keeping another false Sabbath, such as Sunday, the first day of the week as God's Sabbath, than one keeping the Feast of Pentecost on the wrong day.
Will sincere conviction in one's faith be accepted for true obedience to God and His Word? All sins, sins of presumptuousness and rebellion, or even sins of ignorance, will be judged in the day of Christ's judgment! God commands obedience to His commandments and to obey His Gospel, and that means to keep and observe His true Pentecost, by knowing how to count the time, to know when His the Feast of Pentecost is to be observed. Being with a church fellowship group, or an organization on another day and calling it Pentecost, will not grant one to receive God's grace, His protection and salvation!
For more articles and our e-mail address go to our main website at http://www.donimon.org/light.index.html